Archive for November, 2013

Music to art by

November 20, 2013

We are just beyond the halfway point for NaNoWriMo and listening to music is a large part of my writing experience.  This is especially true when writing in public places where I need to drown out the noise. Music can also reinforce the emotions that I am writing into my story.

If I had the time, energy and a decent computer I would come up with playlists like some authors do. Alas, I do not, so I use Pandora or whatever I have on my computer to do the job.

I listen to sound tracks to movies, usually Lord of the Rings, as these do not typically have lyrics and put me in “the zone.”   I also enjoy newer Radiohead and have done so since I was writing papers in college. My husband enjoys listening to Celtic music while he writes.

I LOVE to sing along to music and I find that it can be quite distracting to myself and those around me, so I try to avoid this during writing.  I end up focusing on the lyrics and not the page (and create quite a racket).

What do other writers listen to?  What about those who do other kinds of art?

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NaNoWriMo update

November 6, 2013

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Good evening!

I hope that everyone participating in National Novel Writing month is having a good time of it!  I am keeping ahead of the daily word goal for the moment.  I am trying to front load my word count in case I have to work overtime or I am out of commission for more than a day of so for my ankle surgery next week.

If you are participating and are behind, do not lose hope!  This is really only the beginning of the month and you have plenty of time to catch up.  Try to aim for the 1667 word goal each day and add a bit on, perhaps raising your goal to 2000 words per day.  Once you get to 1667 you will likely find that you are ready to write more anyway.

Need inspiration to keep writing?  When you quit writing at the end of a session try to stop someplace exciting in your story.  That way you will want to get to the next part the following day! 

Come up with some sort of motivation or reward for when you achieve your goal.  I really want a laptop to edit my stories on. I hate my netbook (too small!), so I decided that a new computer will be my reward.

Do you freeze up when you sit down to write?  It is not too late to outline.   I wrote a very basic outline of about 8 scenes on the second day of Nano and plopped it into my story.  This not only counts towards your word goal, it is also right there in your document so you can follow along as you go.

Writing out some information about your characters will help you to know them better.  It is hard to know how your characters will react if they are strangers to you.  What do they look like?  What goals do they have for their lives?  What is stopping them from achieving their goals?

Don’t throw your words away! If you decide that you hate something that you just wrote do not delete it.  Those words came out of your brain through your fingers so they count! Strike them through or change their color.  If I change a word or two I will usually not do this and will simply delete them instead (though I know some people who keep everything) but if it is an entire sentence or paragraph I’m keeping it!

I also write notes to myself for future research or just to note that I know something doesn’t work. Tonight I wrote: “Good question—might want to work that in somehow” and turned that text red. 

I have no time! I understand that people are busy, but if you decide that you want to do something then you can make time.  Get up early!  Stay up late! If you are doing Nano then you need to carve out time now.

If you simply cannot find the time perhaps this is not the right time to pursue this endeavor.  Writing should be enjoyable, though perhaps not always fun. If you have the desire to write you will have to carve out time to do so. You will never get better if you do not practice.  

Perhaps you should go to a write in with your regional Nano group.  There are a bunch of these in my area (5 per week!).  I do not go to all of them (though you could) but I do go to a few.  Warning: these can be a bit distracting because people have a tendency to talk a bit.   If that bothers you it may be a good idea for you to skip these or go only to the ones designated as silent (perhaps they are in the library like the silent ones in my region)

I hope that everyone participating in Nano is enjoying the challenge.  It is not always sunshine and rainbows, but it is well worth the experience and when you win at the end of this month you will feel AWESOME!!!

Despite the coffee that I ingested during tonight’s writing session I am sleepy, so I must bid you all good night!  Happy writing!